Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Peregoyo y Su Combo Vacana - 1965
"The King of the Currulao"
Currulao is a African rhythm; it is employed in singing about the misfortunes of love, feasts of the saints, or for lamenting the loss of a child. After more than five centuries of neglect, the Pacific coast of Colombia, one of the country's best kept secrets is gradually beginning to shed its isolation and obscurity. This region is a "New Africa": 95% of its inhabitants are of African origin, brought there to work in the gold mines and plantations during the age of Spanish colonization. The presence of Africana in the Pacific region flourishes in myriads of surviving traditions. One of the most accessible is music.
The first orchestra to record in the whole Pacific region was undoubtedly Peregoyo back in the 1960s; for that matter the Combo Vacaná was one of the first to record Afro-Colombian music in the entire country. Peregoyo, a variant of the word "emperegoyado" that refers to a person who always looks sharp and is well dressed and groomed and so naturally a maestro, is the nickname for bandleader Enrique Urbano Tenorio. Their first long playing record was recorded live with a single microphone and released on Disco Fuentes in 1965 when Peregoyo was fourty-eight. To this day, 87 year old Peregoyo is still composing folk melodies of the Pacific coast to the indigenous rhythms of the Afro-Colombian lands.